High school boys’ cross country Player of the Season
Honors: He won his second straight Division II championship race, leading the Bears to third, then repeated as Meet of Champions winner and even cracked the top 10 in the New Englands.
Which of the three season-ending races were you proudest of? Why? I would have to say the Meet of Champions, because it’s the best of all New Hampshire cross country all together on a single day. During my freshman year I had this dream of winning the Meet of Champions; it was the thing I trained for. I’m proudest of this race because it proved to me what consistent hard training was. I knew if I didn’t train hard consistently, I would never win.
After winning D-II last year, did you feel more pressure going into the race this year? Yes I did. In the beginning of the season I struggled with the idea of the State meet. Last year I didn’t know exactly how much it was going to take. But this year I knew exactly how much it was going to hurt and the sacrifice needed to win. Mentally, I struggled with the idea for a while. Thanks to my team, coaches and mostly God, I found peace.
You improved from 19th to 10th in the New Englands. What specifically made the difference and allowed you to shave nine places off your finish? I believe that another full year of training helped, not only physically but experience-wise as well.
What were your goals going into this season? I wanted to win the Division II meet, win the Meet of Champions, break 15:30 for the 5K and win New Englands. I didn’t achieve all my goals but I gave it everything I had and look back with no regrets.
Besides speed, what’s the most important attribute for a runner to have? (ex: patience, competitiveness, etc.) I would say as a runner, you have to be mentally strong. You can be the most gifted runner ever, but not have the metal toughness to push through a tough race. You have to be willing to hurt longer than everyone else around you.
The girls’ team won the New England Championships. Is there a rivalry between your team and theirs at all? Absolutely, our guys’ team hates the fact that the girls always get the attention. They by all means deserve it, but as a guys’ group we wanted to create our own identity, which we did and I’m extremely proud of. We went from seventh in Division II last year to third this year.
Did you have an opposing runner or rival that you looked forward to running against during your career? Each year there was a different person. My freshman year I was trying to beat anyone on our Coe-Brown varsity team so I could have a spot. Then my sophomore year all I wanted to do was beat (Oyster River’s) Jack Collopy. Last year (Concord’s) BJ Smith and I went head-to-head several times and became great friends from it. This year it was (Souhegan’s) Eli Moskowitz. He pushed me to be better every time we raced.
Who (besides yourself) is the most serious runner or person on the team? I would say our whole team is serious but one that stands out is Lucas Fisher. He is without a doubt the hardest-working and most consistent runner on our team. He was a co-captain with me and he helped make our team much more consistent this year, he was a great example to everyone, including myself.
Who (besides yourself) is the most lighthearted? The most lighthearted would have to be Jake Scarponi. He always makes us laugh even if we are in the worst workout of the year. Something our guys’ team had a good balance of was seriousness and fun. Jake had a huge part in balancing it out.
What’s your ideal climate to run in? I prefer any type of bad weather; it makes it more challenging but I think it gives me an advantage, not just in races, but in training too. It makes me stronger both physically and mentally.
What’s been your most embarrassing experience in cross country? I would have to say it was when I hurt my nose the morning of Meet of Champions my junior year. I was shooting my gun before the race and I was too close to the scope and it kicked back into my face. So I (ran) the race with my nose clogged with blood, it hurt a lot.
What’s your favorite pre-race or day-before meal? I have a pretty well-balanced diet but I can’t stop my tradition of a double egg and sausage sandwich on the morning of races. I know it’s not the best meal for me, but it’s working for me and is just a part of my routine now.
Last year, you picked Forrest Gump as your favorite movie. Have you ever thought about trying the (literal) cross-country running he did? Haha, no I have not. I think I would want to start with a marathon first. Then I’ll think about it.
What’s a secret talent of yours? I don’t think it’s a secret but I’ve always loved swimming, and like to think I’m good at it. I love to see how far down I can swim. I’ve only meet one other person who can go further than I can.
If you could go to a concert for any artist or band, past or present, who would it be? I would love to see Skillet again. I love their concerts.
What’s an activity you haven’t tried but would like to some day? I would love to do an Ironman. It’s on my bucket list.
Ten years from now, what would you like your job to be? I want to be a Navy SEAL. It’s been a goal of mine for a while.
What are your plans for after this year? Do they include running? Next year I will be going to Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois. I plan to run for them.